Do you like a challenge and want to make a difference to the lives of people living with cancer in the Wrexham area?
This volunteer-led service, which is the first of its kind for Macmillan Cancer Support in North Wales, gives direct practical and emotional support (such as housework, shopping and gardening) to people living with cancer or those caring for someone with cancer.
I its first year, 11 people have been recruited and trained as a Support Buddy for the charity and the charity now hopes for volunteers to fill a Lead Volunteer role.
Each trained Buddy is paired up with, and makes weekly visits to, a person with cancer who is living in the Wrexham area.
The person will need exceptional organisational and communication skills to coordinate the Buddy team. In return the, the successful lead volunteer will be developing new and existing skills, meet new people and make a real difference to the lives of people living with cancer. For more details search on our website https://volunteering.macmillan.org.uk
One year into the service, and volunteers have been sharing their thoughts on the impact that being a Macmillan Buddy has had on their lives.
Reflecting on her volunteering experience, Marian Stewart, said: ”I get fulfilment in my role that I can help others and be there for them whilst they are living with cancer.
“It is such a rewarding experience, although sad and emotional at times. It’s a roller coaster, but worth the ride.”
Wrexham Buddy, Wayne Phillips, said: ‘I enjoy being able to help and spend time with my service user. I also find it helps me with my personal journey,
“I am surprised how much being a Macmillan Buddy has helped my own confidence whilst I have been supporting a person living with cancer.
“A small amount of time, maybe walks in the park, can make a huge difference.”
Local politicians, Lesley Griffiths AM and Ian Lucas MP who attended to launch of the service have continued to support the ambition of the Macmillan Wrexham Support Buddies.
Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths said: “Many of us will have been affected by cancer in some way. Its impact on people’s lives is profound and far-reaching but Macmillan’s volunteer scheme aims to ensure nobody faces the disease on their own.
“The volunteers deserve a huge amount of credit as the practical and emotional support they offer to those in need is having a positive effect across Wrexham.
“Macmillan’s volunteer scheme has had great success in its first year and long may that continue.”
Ian Lucas, MP for Wrexham, said: “I am grateful to Macmillan for leading the way with their Wrexham scheme volunteer scheme and would like to congratulate them on their first anniversary. Living with cancer can be a complex and difficult thing. Projects such as this make a real difference, ensuring people do not face the disease alone.”
Speaking about the Macmillan service, Katy Jones, Macmillan Volunteer Service Co-ordinator in North Wales, said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact that the Buddy service has, not just on people benefiting from our service, but also on our volunteers. They’ve been amazing!
“Being a Support Buddy is definitely rewarding but it can also be challenging, and that’s why we focussed on creating a service that supports and gives training to our volunteers. I think that this approach has been key in creating a sustainable, volunteer-led service.
“The new Lead Volunteer role is really important to the service, so if anyone is interested in finding out more about this role. Call me for an informal chat about the role on 0745804261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If you need support or just want someone to talk to about cancer, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk.
Macmillan is here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support. We are entirely funded by donations and simply cannot support the growing number of people who need us without your help. Do something amazing today, donate or volunteer for Macmillan. Visit https://www.macmillan.org.uk/get-involved/